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Polynesian Words

Asian loan words in English

by Ann-Marie Imbornoni

Asian Loan Words

Words derived from:


  • hula
  • luau
  • ukelele, from words meaning "flea jumping."


  • tattoo, introduced to the English-speaking world by Capt. James Cook in his account of his voyage around the world from 1768 to1771. Sailors later brought the actual custom to Europe.


  • taboo, like tattoo, occurs for the first time in Capt. James Cook's journals.

Did you know?
In the 2010 census, the average family size was 3.14.